The Prairie Club, Dunes Course. Valentine, Nebraska

I don’t usually answer my phone while I am playing golf, but the caller ID read Tom Lehman.  Had to answer.  He wanted to get me all set to shoot the Prairie Club near Valentine, Nebraska, before his trip to Wales for the Ryder Cup.  I checked the weather and it looked great for at least 15 days.  The temperatures were in the mid 70s, wow!! in late September and early October.

Stocked my cooler with fruits, munchies and water, and got on the road at 6:15 am. The drive was an uneventful 8 hours.  I watched the landscape slowly changed from flat farmland to rolling hills as I crossed the Missouri River, I knew I was in the  Sandhills of Nebraska.

The outside services gentlemen were extremely helpful, brought my camera gear and travel bag to my room in the lodge.  The lodge is very low key, comfortable but elegant – from the bar to the members’ area to the rooms. It overlooks westward toward the 18th green of the Pines course, designed by Graham Marsh.  Members and guests can enjoy a cocktail out on the patio while admiring the always amazing sunset.

I started touring the Dunes course from the first hole on.  It is a links style course with elevation changes, prairie grass, wide fairways and large greens.  The wind is constantly blowing making every shot a challenge.  The most noticeable features on this course are the “blow outs” a.k.a sand bunkers.  From the information I received, the blow outs are created by cattle grazing and digging down to the sand, the wind takes over and makes these great looking sand bunkers.

From every tee box you see the hole in front of you and the expanse of the rolling Sandhills.  It goes for miles and from the yardage book provided, it states “The Sandhills region rivals the size of Ireland or Scotland with miles of natural land formation for playing the game as it was meant to be played”.  My images are always shot early mornings and late afternoon, taking advantage of the golden rays.  It is definitely worth getting up early and staying out till the sun goes down.  The sunrises and sunsets out here are spectacular!!!

I am having difficulty gathering my thoughts to describe the course other than to show you my images.  So I asked Tom Lehman to write a short paragraph of his feelings toward his creation.  I hope that my images will illustrate his words.

“There are so many potentially good golf holes in the Sand Hills near Valentine, NE on the Ranch that has become the Prairie Club that it took a year and a half to finally narrow it down to the best 18 that now comprise the Dunes Course at the PC.  There just is no better topography for golf than this piece of land and it was genuinely a project that I looked forward to going to and was sad to have to leave when the trip finished.  I love this land and I love this golf course.  My heart and soul are in every tee, fairway, green, bunker and fence post.”

………………..Tom Lehman

Attached are a few images, to view all of them please visit my gallery at this link:

http://gallery.me.com/peterwongphotography#gallery   click on The Prairie Club

Or my website:  http://peterwongphotography.com/golfscapes.aspx   and select a course.




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4 Responses to “The Prairie Club, Dunes Course. Valentine, Nebraska”

  1. Joan Guite Says:

    Peter, Thanks for letting me see more of your work. Beauriful ! All is well with the “Hansons” Kent is now driving the zambonie for the Colorado team and is still playing hockey himself. I am retiring the end of December after 47 years of hospital nursing as I started as a Candystriper at 15. We need to get together if possible. I’m off to Haiti again for a medical mission in January, but maybe after I return. Joan

  2. Julie Sweers Says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!

  3. Hello Peter,

    It is Paul Dalley here, saying g’day. Congrats on your stellar work at The Prairie Club.

    Can you set up a lighbox presentation of 10-15 shots at The Priairie Club, so as I can choose which images to present in my upcoming GOLF ARCHITECTURE – Vol. Six. My email address is supplied above.

    Hoping to hear back really soon.

    Best wishes,
    Paul Daley
    Melbourne, Down Under

  4. I really enjoy your work… the composition and color. In this set I responded to the abstract quality of the last piece (poles)… thanks for sharing!

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